With “tupping time” over we are on the countdown to lambing time. So the scanning man, Robert, arrived on Saturday morning in order for us to find out if the tups had successfully carried out their duties.
Scanning sheep is the same technology as is used for humans ie: ultra sound. The sheep are sent down a race, that’s like a sheep corridor, till they are next to the scanning equipment. They are held in place between two gates and the scanner is run over their abdomen to show a picture on the monitor. On Saturday it felt like Robert had the easy bit. He was sat on a recycled car seat in the dry, whilst we were outside sending sheep forward in the pouring rain. There was so much rain it outwitted modern waterproofs quite easily.
We were quite pleased with the scanning results. Out of 401 sheep 51 are having singles, 222 twins, 117 triplets, 2 quads and only 9 are empty. My maths is poor but Robert says that is 212%. Ideally we would rather have had less triplets but some will get adopted by sheep with singles or those who give birth to a dead lamb. But now we know which sheep are having twins and triplets they can have some TLC which means their feed will have more calories, especially the triplet carrying ewes. We achieve this by feeding the sheep some cereal based feed that is more energy dense than grass or silage. This is really crucial as lambs will increase their weight by 70% in the last 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy and that’s a lot of calories.
Anyway at least we know the tups were up to the mark.